God: The Underlying Arguments

Science versus God?

Ask anyone on the street, and it is likely they will tell you that science and belief in God are hard to combine. Memories still linger, centuries on, of what happened to Galileo when he challenged the church to see that that their Bible-based view that the earth "cannot be moved" was "demonstrably wrong".

But most will assume that the final nail in the coffin of belief was hammered home by Charles Darwin in 1859, with the publication of his “On the Origin of Species.” It was a head-on challenge to the concept, found in some areas of the church, of a finger-snapping cosmic magician who simply speaks the word and, within six twenty-four hour days, creation is "done and dusted".

The Atheist World View

In the 21st century, the conflict model is being presented most emphatically by a group of prominent writers and broadcasters who argue that, not only has science dispensed with God, but that belief and the religious passions that sometimes surround it are intrinsically dangerous.

Science is about understanding natural processes, almost all of them developed over vast timescales. It has no place for magic which is sometimes assumed to be the business of religion.

The Atheist Argument...

Science flies us to the moon; religion flies us into buildings.

Professor Victor Stenger, Author
"God The Failed Hypothesis: How science shows God does not exist"

Religion asks you to believe in a series of absurdities.

Professor Peter Atkins, Fellow
Lincoln College, University of Oxford

They think faith is a good thing in itself, morally superior to reason.

Christopher Hitchens, Author
"God Is Not Great"

It looks like God till you find out how it’s done and it isn’t God.

Michael Shermer, Editor
Skeptic Magazine

Wasting your time being wrong is the modus operandi of religion.

Sam Harris, Author
"The End of Faith"

All those deep questions that religion once aspired to explain are now more grandly, in a more elegant fashion, explained by science.

Professor Richard Dawkins, Author
"The God Delusion"

The Theist World View

This conflict model of science versus religion is being resoundingly challenged by some very high profile scientists who see no conflict between their work in contemporary science and belief in a creator. For them, the creator is not a worker of instantaneous acts - one moment something isn’t there and the next minute it is – but rather the mind behind the processes which science is continuously unravelling.

A Mind Behind the Process?

Based on the observation that cosmology is discovering a universe that is intelligible, and that biology reveals a natural world that "works", they reason that the ultimate explanation for all of this rationality is that there is a mind behind the whole process. That mind is what theists have traditionally termed "God".

The Theist Argument...

If the universe did have an absolute beginning, then since something cannot come out of nothing, since being does not come from non being, there must exist some sort of transcendent cause which brought the universe into existence and this is the traditional concept of what theists have meant by God.

Prof William Lane Craig, Author
"Reasonable Faith"

Science describes how the universe works but it doesn’t answer the ultimate question of why all this exists in the first place?

Dr Usama Hasan, Fellow
The Royal Astronomical Society

I think that when the atheists claim that science is the way to figure out what’s true, they haven’t investigated the prior question which is: what can science know and what is beyond the domain of science?

Dinesh D’Souza, Author
"What’s So Great About Christianity?"

Some of the world’s more brilliant intellects are needed to uncover, through science, this deep and subtle order in the universe. To say that we need brilliant minds to figure out what’s going on but mind doesn’t play a part in the structure and origin of that seems to me to be really rather peculiar.

Dr Paul Davies, Author
"The Mind of God"

The most plausible explanation for the fine-tuning of the universe is that there’s a fine-tuner.

Prof John Lennox, Author
"Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists Are Missing The Target"

The laws of nature are very finely tuned to permit the development of life. The best explanation is that creation is endowed by its creator to have a fruitful process in history.

Rev Dr Sir John Polkinghorne, Author
"Theology In The Context of Science"

The God Question Series

The God Question Series has been produced to bring together two powerfully opposing worldviews - atheism and theism - to allow each to make its strongest case.

The Stark Choice

Atheist Sam Harris – author of The End of Faith – has poignantly observed, "There’s no question that someone is right and someone is wrong. These (atheism and theism) are wholly incompatible views of reality."

The ensuing battle for the truth is framed in The God Question series.